MFA Thesis Project - the Middle Way
My MFA thesis project shows nine oil-paintings visualizing the "Middle Way" - the ideal spiritual state. They have various sizes ranging from 18 in x 24 in to 60 in x 48 in. The Middle Way often uses symmetrical forms as symbols of peaceful mind and stable emotional state. The primary source of these symbols is religious tradition. Various religious traditions have practiced meditation to follow the Middle Way.
My thesis project uses more layers to show ambient and spiritual effect. Before applying each layer, I take plenty of time to practice my own meditation and imagine the spiritual state that I wish to describe. This is calm, slow and silent stage. But, once I begin to apply paints, my painting becomes much more live and fluid process. To experiment various effects of medium while it is still wet, I splash, drip, pour and paint paints repeatedly for hours and days. I also use much more solvents and medium than ordinary oil painters to make natural, organic forms and colors. Those forms and colors are developed while pigments are still wet and slowly settle on canvas for days. I cannot plan ahead or predict precisely how my painting would look in the end. Rather, my experimentations are spontaneous and I follow my guts and impulse. However, overall, I try to maintain my theme and symmetrical forms to deliver the sense of Middle Way. After I find the final forms and colors on canvas, I contemplate again and step forward to apply the next layer. My painting is calm but active at the same time. I want the viewers of my painting to feel my time and space that I spend for my painting process. The painting process is a way that I practice the Middle Way.